With all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season behind us (for another 11 months anyhow), I finally have time to turn my attention towards some product reviews. During the holidays, I received the Frosty VoxBox compliments of Influenster. It is full of nice, new things that they sent me to try for free!
The box contained:
No7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Sachet
NYC Expert Last Lip Color in Sugar Plum
Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Decaf Green Tea
With two of my girls grown and out on their own (and even out of the state!) I find that sometimes the easiest way to keep up with what’s going on is to check their Facebook accounts. The problem with that is I don’t want to be a Mom all over their page, you know? So, I am always on the lookout for new ways to post on their page so that they know I am thinking about them while at the same time not embarrassing them and causing their friends to ask “Hey, what’s up with your Mom??!?!?!?”
I had no idea what the heck a “meme” was until my girls started talking about them. Then I started seeing Ryan Gosling “Hey Girl” memes popping up on Louise’s page and I knew I had to get in on this! The one at the top of this post is one I recently added to her Facebook page. I thought it was hysterical ~ HA! (Let me just say that if Ryan Gosling did add me as a Facebook friend, I would not have time to post to my daughter’s pages!).
Here is a meme to explain what a meme is:
These things are SO fun! They are also a cool way just to let someone know you are thinking of them without cyber-stalking them or looking too serious. All I do to find them is click over to Google and do an image search for what ever I am looking for plus the word “meme”.
So, if you wanted one for a friends birthday and they love poodles, you would do an image search for “poodle meme” and then you might post THIS to their page:
AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH! See! Isn’t that funny! So, let’s say they love sandwiches. Go to Google and do an image search for “sandwich meme”. If you have ever worked at an office, then you can relate to the meme below:
See! Memes are easy, fun and free! There are also memes for birthdays, holidays, special occasions, jokes, celebrities, inspiration, etc. Now that you know what they are and how to use them appropriately and you won’t have to be clueless like this poor lady:
Usually I host family get-togethers at my house. It is easier on Ben (the Autism just doesn’t make it easy to travel to other houses). I always make a TON of food and anyone who wants to take home leftovers is more than welcome to take some home. This brings up the issue of what to put it in.
A few years ago I noticed that whenever I was getting ready for family dinners, since I was making so much food, I would have several plastic bowls with lids that would normally go into the garbage (sour cream bowls, cottage cheese bowls, cool whip bowls, etc). While I don’t like to keep these for storage here at my house (I tend to use more heavy duty storage containers), I realized that it would be great to have them on hand for whenever someone wants to take home leftovers from my house! No need to worry about returning the bowl, they can either keep it for themselves or throw it away! Plus, at least they get used at least one more time before going into the trash Subscribe in a reader
I worked hard last year to make sure that I had enough money to buy nice gifts for my family for the holidays. I researched purchases, earned some Amazon giftcards through swagbucks (you can see here how to get a free tv like I did from swagbucks) and saved a little cash each month so that I would not have to worry about how to pay for gifts. All of this planning paid off! I got some really great deals! One of the deals I was most excited about were some Beyblades that I bought for Ben and my nephew.
They were super cool! They lit up! They spun! The packaging said “Let it Rip!” I kept thinking how neat they were that they lit up when you pulled the strip and how cool they would look when they were spinning in battle! I knew the boys would be thrilled!
Christmas day went off without a hitch. Sure enough, the boys were excited about the super cool, new Beyblades! “Wow! They light up! Yeah!” They had so much stuff to play with that they didn’t actually open the Beyblades until that evening. My sister called and asked if we had opened the Beyblades yet. Nope. Not yet. She said that they didn’t work. What?!?!?!?!? I tried them in the store ! They light up great! They spin great! She said “Yeah but they are just flashlights.” WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?
Sure enough I tried Ben’s Beyblade and all it did was spin and light up. Nowhere on the packaging that it came with (it has since been changed) did it say that it wasn’t a “real” Beyblade. It was only a flashlight. How disappointing. I immediately emailed the LARGE toy company that owns the Beyblade name. They sent me a response that they don’t manufacture ALL the Beyblade items and they couldn’t help me.
I emailed them back again saying (name of LARGE toy companies deleted where ***** are):
“So, although ***** is all over the Beyblade name, and I bought a Beyblade branded product, there is nothing you can do for me as a consumer? How is that possible? That is insulting. I have never even heard of ***** ****** ********** and they certainly aren’t mentioned on the Beyblade website (where it says ****** everywhere). I am beyond irritated. This is NOT right! I would think that a toy company that manufactures the Beyblade items would want their customers to be satisfied? How can I get a resolution to this issue? There must be something you can do. It is hard for me to accept that a company as large as ******, who makes the Beyblades items for children, just doesn’t care that they disappointed children on Christmas day and that they are not interested in correcting the issue? Seriously? ESPECIALLY since the EXACT ITEM that I purchased was listed as a selection under Beyblades on the subject of the email I previously sent you (you know, where I am supposed to select the product I am emailing about. WHY would the EXACT ITEM be listed there if you don’t provide customer support for it?) There must be something you can do to make this right. Please let someone else review my complaint and come up with an alternative solution because your previous response is unsatisfactory. Thank you in advance for your help with this matter.”
Long story short, they apologized and sent us two REAL replacement Beyblades. Don’t take NO for an answer. Be polite but state your case. You have the right to complain if you aren’t satisfied with an product or service you have purchased. Subscribe in a reader
I LOVE lists! They keep me on track, productive and organized. They also make gift giving easier for me. Whenever someone I am close to mentions items they would like to have I make a note of it. That way when a birthday or holiday rolls around, I already have a list of gift ideas. The great thing about doing this is that often times the recipient has long forgotten about the item they were admiring. The gift becomes a wonderful surprise followed by “How did you know?” because they often forget ever having mentioned that they liked the item! I also keep a list like this for myself on the fridge so when someone asks me what I would like for my birthday, etc. I don’t have to say “I don’t know”. I just tell them a few ideas off my list.
I have been wanting to get an Ipad ever since they came out. Unfortunately they have always been out of my price range. This past weekend I saw an ad for a large discount store that had a tablet computer, similar to the Ipad, on sale for $89. I got excited because I figured that with all the “little bits” of money I had saved, I probably had enough. Here is where those “little bits” came from:
$10 in my wallet left over from last week + $40 in birthday money + $10 in rebate checks that came in + $10 I won after on a scratch off ticket I got for my birthday + $27 for some items we sold on half.com = a PAID IN FULL android tablet computer/reader !
I just wanted to post this to encourage people and let them know that all the little bits here and there can add up! Oh, and I didn’t get the tablet computer from the store. They were all sold out. I ended up ordering a better one online for the same price!
Sorry this post is a little late….. I was recovering from the party I hosted yesterday for the three birthdays we have in my family this month. For as long as I can remember, we have always gotten our family birthday cakes at Publix. Something about their buttercreme icing just cannot be replicated. This year, money was tighter than usual (like REALLY tight!) so store bought cakes were out. Even at $10 each it would have cost $30 that I did not have. I decided to go thru my recipe box and create a special homemade cake for each birthday being celebrated.
My father loves coconut so that was the choice for him. My daughter Coral opted for a red velvet cake. I made a chocolate fudge cake as my birthday cake. Since I am not so great at icing layered cake and I really don’t like the taste of canned icing and I thought a “sheet” cake still in the pan would be kind of un-festive, I decided to make them all bundt cakes!
In my opinion bundt cakes are severely underrated! They are super easy! You can make them from a boxed mix or from scratch. They come out in one beautiful, round, molded piece that looks really pretty (I use a fluted mold). No special icing techniques are required. They are always SO moist inside too! For presentation you simply dump the mold upside down onto a plate and the cake comes right out! Simple! You just have to make sure that you use a lot of baking spray so that the cake does not stick to the pan at all.
The coconut cake (made from a scratch recipe) got several layers of coconut glaze brushed all over it and then I sprinkled flaked coconut over the top of it. The red velvet cake (made partially from scratch) got cream cheese icing drizzled all over the top of it so that it dripped down the sides intentionally. The chocolate fudge cake (from a boxed mix) got chocolate icing and white icing drizzled all over the top of it for a really pretty mixed effect!
To make the icing drizzle, I just put some icing into a glass measuring cup and heated it in the microwave for 20 seconds. This makes the icing much thinner and easier to drizzle with. I stirred the warm icing really well and slowly poured it over the top of the cake. You can make different patterns with the icing this way too.
Total cost for all three cakes: $7 (I had some of the ingredients on hand).